Case details

Bicyclist claimed taxi driver’s failure to timely signal caused crash





Result type

Not present

coccygodynia, coccyx, fracture, sacrum, tailbone
On June 14, 2014, plaintiff Sarah Dime, 25, a retail employee, was bicycling on eastbound 14th Street, in San Francisco. As she entered the intersection with Folsom Street, she was struck on the side of her bicycle by a taxicab operated by Marc Greenberg, who was making a right turn onto Folsom Street. Dime was knocked to the ground, and she landed on her back and tailbone. Dime sued Greenberg and Greenberg’s employer, SF Green Cab, LLC, which also owned the taxicab. Dime alleged that Greenberg was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that SF Green Cab was vicariously liable for Greenberg’s actions while in the course and scope of his employment. Dime contended that she was riding in a designated bicycle lane and that as she approached the intersection, she checked to ensure that Greenberg’s taxicab was not making a right turn by looking for his turn signal, which she did not see turned on. She alleged that as such, she proceeded through the intersection on a green light, assuming the taxi was doing the same. However, Dime contended that Greenberg took an abrupt right turn, without properly signaling, and collided with her bicycle. Greenberg claimed that Dime was passing his taxicab on the right as they entered the intersection, which is not allowed, and that Dime was speeding on her bicycle. He alleged that, instead, Dime should have passed the taxicab on the left side, rather than the right side. However, Greenberg admitted to the police that he turned on his right turn signal at the last second and failed to look over his right shoulder prior to turning. Thus, defense counsel asked the jury to find Dime 100 percent at fault or, in the alternative, 99 percent at fault., Dime suffered a fracture of her sacrum and was subsequently transported by ambulance to a hospital, where she was treated non-surgically and released the next day. She then followed up with her treating physicians five times, each time complaining of pain in her coccyx region. Dime contended she developed coccygodynia, a rare condition that causes pain in and around the coccyx (tailbone), as a result of the accident. However, she was advised that there was no other treatment to relieve her pain. The plaintiff’s neurosurgery expert opined that Dime sustained a fractured sacrum and persistent coccygodynia. Dime claimed that she missed time from work after the accident, but that she was eventually able to return and she is still working. She also claimed that she is able to ride her bicycle, walk, run, and sit, but that long periods of sitting and riding her bicycle cause her discomfort. Thus, Dime sought recovery of $8,832.31 in past medical costs and $3,840 in past lost earnings, both of which were stipulated to by the parties. Dime also sought recovery of an unspecified amount of damages for her past and future pain and suffering. The defense’s chiropractic expert agreed that Dime sustained a fractured sacrum, but opined that there was no significant long-term pain. The expert also opined that Dime’s pain should have resolved within a few months and that if it did not, it would have resolved with other treatments that had not been recommended to Dime by her doctors.
Superior Court of San Francisco County, San Francisco, CA

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